Until just a few years ago, George Galvin was the prototypical back-yard chef--barbecued steaks and maybe some ribs on weekends, that sort of thing. Otherwise, the kitchen belonged to his wife, Mary.
Then she developed a progressive and crippling form of arthritis, and the newly retired Galvin found himself doing it all--planning three meals a day, shopping for the ingredients and preparing the meals.
And, according to Mary's letter to Guys & Galleys, he has become extraordinarily successful at it, even though he says her shoes were tough to fill.
"Mary was a marvelous cook," he said. "She clipped recipes from newspapers, has a ton of cookbooks and loved to experiment."
So does he, and it was from tinkering with a recipe he didn't like that he came up with the somewhat unusual clam chowder he shared with Guys & Galleys. "I'm a believer that you should use ingredients you like and ignore the stuff you don't like," Galvin, 69, said.
That's why his clam chowder includes carrots.
Before his retirement, Galvin was executive vice president of the Building Industry Assn. of Southern California and had been a general contractor for some years before joining that organization. He now works as a special consultant to the Southern California Gas Co.
He and his wife live in Costa del Sol in Mission Viejo.
GEORGE GALVIN'S CLAMMY CLAM CHOWDER
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
3 6 1/2-ounce cans clams with liquid
1 10-ounce can whole baby clams with liquid
1 pound bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 large onion, diced
2 cups red potatoes, diced
2 cups celery, diced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon beau monde seasoning
In large kettle, combine tomatoes, bacon, clam juice and clams (include liquid). Saute onion in bacon fat until golden and add to soup. Heat 2 cups water and cook potatoes, celery and carrots over medium heat until partially tender (about 5 minutes). Add vegetables and the water they were cooked in to the pot. Add parsley, bring to boil and simmer partially covered for about 20 minutes. Add seasonings and serve.
Each week, Orange County Life will feature a man who enjoys cooking and one of his favorite recipes. Tell us about your candidate. Write to: Guys & Galleys, Orange County Life, The Times, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626.